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οὐ μέντοι ἀδύνατά γε. ‘Not impossible’ is the final verdict which Plato's readers, like Plato himself, will pass upon his city. His tone is far less hopeful than in Books II—IV, and even in V 473 B ff. he is, I think, more optimistic. It is impossible not to feel that 501 C—502 C is written, in some measure, invita Minerva. Plato is glad to escape from so difficult and uncongenial a topic into his native element again. He is beginning to see that the Perfect City is in truth a παράδειγμα ἐν οὐρανῷ (IX 592 B). See on V 470 E, VI 499 C, 499 E, 502 A and VII 540 D— 541 B, and cf. Hirmer Entst. u. Komp. etc. p. 638.

502C - 504A Our next duty is to describe the Rulers and their position in our city. We have already seen that they must be patriotic; let us now add that they must be philosophers. Those who combine the peculiar features of the philosophic temperament are necessarily few, and they must be submitted to stringent intellectual as well as moral tests, to see whether they will be able to endure the greatest of all studies.

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